IRVING, Texas – Anthony Hitchens' fantastic Week 16 effort caught some eyes around the NFL, as he was nominated for the Pepsi Rookie of the Week award on Tuesday.
Hitchens led the Cowboys with eight tackles during their 42-7 demolition of Indianapolis, and he made one of the defensive plays of the game when he intercepted a batted Andrew Luck pass at the start of the third quarter. The interception set Dallas up on the Colts' 19-yard line, already up 28-0.
The fourth-round rookie has some steep competition this week, as he was nominated alongside Giants receiver Odell Beckham, Jr., Oakland quarterback Derek Carr, Cincinnati running back Jeremy Hill and Jacksonville linebacker Telvin Smith.
Smith recorded 15 tackles, one for a loss, in Jacksonville's 21-13 win against Tennessee last Thursday. Beckham torched St. Louis for 148 yards and two touchdowns on eight catches. Hill ran 22 times for 147 yards, including an 85-yard touchdown, in the Bengals' 37-28 win against Denver on Monday night. Carr completed 17-of-34 passes for 214 yards and two touchdowns in Oakland's upset win against Buffalo.
Hitchens has been enjoying quite the debut season since injuries forced him into a starting role on the Cowboys defense. For the season, he has 74 tackles, one interception and four passes defensed. He's also gained notoriety with his penchant for fourth-down stops, with drive-killing tackles against St. Louis and Jacksonville.